These cell lines are useful for studying the regulation of tissue-specific gene expression, and may also be used to identify epididymal-specific transcription factors involved in expression of specific proteins in the epididymis. Four cell lines are available, including PC1 from proximal caput, and the DC1, DC2, and DC3 cell lines from the distal caput.
These cell lines were derived from primary cultures of epididymal cells from transgenic mice overexpressing temperature sensitive simian virus 40 large T-antigen gene. These cell lines show temperature-dependent growth and expression of cytokeratin, a marker of epithelial cells. Additionally, these cells express the androgen receptor as well as markers of the murine epididymal epithelium, PEB-like protein (ie, phosphatidyl ethanolamine binding protein), E-RABP (ie, epididymal retinoic acid-binding protein), and EP17 (ie, epididymal protein of 17 kd).